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Car-Related Complaints Top Consumer Gripes In Eugene

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Brian Bull
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KLCC

The top consumer complaints in Eugene largely focused on cars, namely sales, maintenance, and fuel.  KLCC’s Brian Bull explains what’s driving that trend.

Of the 351 complaints filed with the Oregon Department of Justice over the last three years, 37 percent were against car dealers, towing companies, auto shops, and gas stations.

Ellen Klem of the Oregon DOJ says statewide, car-related complaints are second only to telecommunications.

“A phone and a car are things that everybody needs," says Klem.  "So because everybody’s buying them, there’s bound to be complaints about those transactions.”

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Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
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KLCC
Car in auto shop.

Klem says one of the biggest cases with cars happened with Courtesy Ford in Gresham. In a $120,000 settlement last year, the dealer agreed to pay back 4,000 Oregonians who were misled into thinking “Data Dot” theft deterrents were mandated by the DMV. 

"So as part of the settlement with Courtesy Ford, they agreed to refund all of the consumers who unknowingly purchased that service.”

Oregonians can file consumer complaints by phone or online.

Copyright 2019, KLCC. 

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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